Grouping Parishes for Mission: An Exploration of Key Issues
In 2009, the (then) Commission for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development of the Irish Episcopal Conference established a task group for the stated purpose of facilitating a national conversation on the development of larger Pastoral Areas through the grouping of parishes. The task group appreciated the wide experience of people in parishes and dioceses, listened attentively and learned a lot through the conversations which took place over its two-year term.
The exploratory papers in this collection, which have been developed through consultation and reflection, deal with the context and current practice of grouping parishes; a vision of local Church and its theological underpinning; canonical models of parish; facilitating the development of Pastoral Areas and implications for leadership; training and formation (continuing ministerial development); material resourcing of Pastoral Areas; and overview of developments globally.
By keeping the papers relatively short, an attempt has been made to get to the heart of the matter, to identify key issues and to suggest helpful processes and directions for development. In this way, each section remains open to being developed by those who use them as an aid to critical reflection and ongoing planning in their local pastoral settings.